The big machinery groups are getting bigger, dominating their share of the machinery market. In Alphabetical order, Altendorf Group; Biesse Group; Felder Group; Homag Group; SCM Group; and Wood Tech Group are some of the ones prominent here in Australia.

The manufacturing of wood working machines is a complex task, similar in scope to automotive manufacturing. The company could make some of the parts themselves or they may buy the parts in from specialist manufacturers that may often supply to several end users. It’s possible that one machinery manufacturer may make machines for another and this happens a lot in China and Taiwan. Felder edge banders are an example of where this occurs in Europe. Felder’s edge banders are built by Casadei Industria, a quality manufacturer in their own right. Quite a few years ago now Felder co-operated with another company to produce their line of CNC machines in their own factory in Austria.

Homag Group recently brought all their machines under the one umbrella, and now each type of machine is indiscernible from the rest. Their CNC machines are still made in either Gutersloh (old Weeke brand) or Schopfloch and their Beam saws are still made near Horb in Germany’s Black Forest region. All Homag’s machines are painted the same unless you are a big enough customer to specify the colour scheme, like the giant kitchen manufacturer Nobilia does. Also from Germany, Altendorf is now a group with the acquisition Maschinenbau Hebrock GmbH who build edge banding machines. Altendorf Group will very likely acquire a CNC machine brand, possibly late this year or early next; certainly by the next Ligna fair in Hannover.

From Italy we have SCM Group and Biesse Groups, located within easy driving distances of each other on the Adriatic coast. SCM Differ from most other Groups in that they make their own machine castings in their own foundry. They also cast parts for other industries like Toyota. Both SCM and Biesse Groups make their own brand of electro spindles and these may be found on many machine brands, including some from Germany. SCM have a number of factories specialising in certain types of machines and the ‘Group’ advantage is that parts can be used on several different types of machine. The automotive industry has certainly led the way here.

Biesse Group has also expanded in recent times, especially in the area of advanced materials. Not only plastics but other building materials such as aluminium composites and acrylic sheeting can be processed on a machine not dissimilar to the one you are probably using now. To offer the full spectrum of processing machinery, Biesse Group have over the last year or so acquired Montresor, a leader in the design, marketing and installation of edge-polishing machines for glass, and Movetro; dedicated to the storage and handling of flat glass plates.